Consider a hypothetical scenario;
A catastrophe faces humanity – everything and everybody is doomed.
Some cruel twist of fate dictates that only you can avert the apocalypse.
To do this, you have to give your life in a heroic, but painful fashion.
The caveat; you will never be remembered for this act. Your sacrifice will go completely unnoticed.
No glory, just ‘the right thing’.
The choice comes down to dying now, in anonymity and perhaps doing the ‘right thing’. Or dying later, alongside everyone else, perhaps your loved ones.
You’d have no conscience to nag you because you’ll be wiped out with everyone else (…unless you happen to believe in some kind of meritocratic afterlife… perhaps)
There is an old saying that, paraphrased, ‘glory is eternal’; this is a lie.
Whatever good (or, dare I say, bad) that you do, will eventually be forgotten. The paper or hard drives that hold the information about you will eventually fail and never be replaced. The people who hold you in their memories will eventually pass away.
Knowing that, would you still be willing to ‘do the right thing’?
Can you find a better reason to do the ‘right thing’?
Is the ‘right thing’ even right for you?